Ranking The Plagues

Stephen Richer
Ranking The Plagues
3/30/2009

Almost everything has a ranking.  Al Franken ranked religions in his book Oh, The Things I Know (reform Judaism placed first); US News & World Report ranks colleges; Newsweek ranks rabbis, The Economist ranks countries, and Maxim ranks women.  But nobody ranks the Ten Plagues of Egypt.

For the next week, Gather The Jews will be posting plague rankings contributed by our staff and community.  If you would like to see your rankings posted and counted toward our final ranking, please email Stephen@gatherthejews.com.

Please feel free to provide comments to your rankings.

The final rankings will be based on total number of votes and on strength of argument.

Note:  Although only the first plagues affected the Israelites, for the sake of an objective ranking, assess all ten plagues as if they were universal.

Stephen Richer’s Rankings (Worst to least worst).

Rank    Plague
1             Boils — Chickenpox was bad enough.
2             Flies —  Spiders would probably accompany.  Eww…
3             Lice
4             Locusts
5             Frogs
6             Firstborn — Infant mortality rates were super high anyway. And more children would likely be lost through
lice, locusts, or boils.
7             Hail  — Can you say snow day?
8             Water into blood — The Nile is disgusting anyway.  Plus we’re supposed to drink wine on Passover.
9             Livestock — Vegans manage, right?
10           Darkness — “Cause it’s eleven thirty (A.M) and the club is jumpin’, jumpin'”

Sheryl Burstein’s Rankings (Worst to least worst).

1             Firstborn
2             Lice — eww, I don’t like things crawling on me … (except for cute Jewish boys)
3             Boils
4             Flies
5             Locusts
6             Water into blood
7             Frogs — eww, I don’t like things jumping on me … (except for cute Jewish boys)
8             Hail
9             Darkness
10           Livestock — matzo ball soup, anyone?

Michael Lipin’s Rankings (Worst to least worst).

1             Darkness — Was always, and remain, freaked out by pitch-black situations.
2             Firstborn — Am one of them.
3             Locusts — Not an insect fan.
4             Flies — Ditto.
5             Livestock — Not a vegetarian, so need my meat/poultry fix.
6             Boils — With universal health care, should be easier to seek treatment.
7             Hail — Depends on the diameter.
8             Water into Blood — Brita manual says filter prevents this.
9             Lice — Head & Shoulders does the trick every time.
10           Frogs — Just think of them as multiple Kermits.